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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 9, 2008 | Patrick McGreevy
Having been absent from the Legislature for nearly two weeks, State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) said through a spokeswoman Friday that she has been diagnosed with a rare but manageable disease that affects her autoimmune system. Runner, best known as an author of the state law requiring tracking of sex offenders, has been diagnosed with limited scleroderma, which normally affects the skin, but in her case has also caused lung problems, said spokeswoman Kayla Garcia. As a result, when the 53-year-old lawmaker catches a cold, the effects on her breathing can be more severe.
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NEWS
April 12, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
WORLD
April 7, 2010 | By Chris Kraul
Standing amid hundreds of African oil palms, their gray and desiccated fronds drooping to the ground, Edgar Barrera shakes his head and speaks of their death sentence. "What we have is a technological disaster, an economic disaster and a social disaster," said Barrera, superintendent of the Bucarelia company's 12,000-acre African palm grove. Barrera is referring to a mysterious, fast-spreading and deadly disease called "PC" that has devastated African palm plantations here in the Magdalena River valley area 200 miles north of Bogota, the capital, and elsewhere in Colombia.
NEWS
April 2, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Taking antidepressants may raise the risk of heart disease in men by producing a thickening of artery walls, researchers said Saturday. Although a potential mechanism for the action is not obvious, the drugs appear to accelerate atherosclerosis by increasing the thickness of what is known as the intima media, the inner and middle layers of the arteries, particularly the carotid arteries that feed blood to the brain, researchers from Emory University in...
NEWS
April 13, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
In the world of “promising” multiple sclerosis drugs, it’s been quite a week. Two more experimental drugs -- both in pill form, not injected -- are joining the race of new treatments to slow the disease.  A study of multiple sclerosis patients who took the drug laquinimod over two years had 23% fewer relapses -- an attack of new symptoms or worsening of old ones -- compared with patients who took a sugar pill. The group that received the drug also had a 36% reduction in disability progression and a 33% reduction in brain atrophy.
NEWS
October 18, 2010
Doctors usually diagnose Alzheimer's disease through a combination of medical and cognitive tests along with a brain scan. New studies, even one involving family members and friends, offer the promise of making the diagnosis easier -- and maybe even earlier. An August study in the Archives of Neurology used biomarkers to correctly classify patients who had Alzheimer's disease. The study tested normal people without the disease, those with mild brain impairments and those with the disease.
NEWS
April 12, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Low-intensity walking may help people with Parkinson's disease improve their gait and mobility, a new study finds. The study, presented Tuesday at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Honolulu, compared three different forms of exercise to see which was most beneficial to men and women with Parkinson's disease, which affects motor control. Researchers randomly assigned 67 people with the disease to one of three programs: a low-intensity treadmill walk for 50 minutes; a high-intensity treadmill walk for 30 minutes; and a weight and stretching regimen that included leg presses, extensions and curls.
NEWS
September 26, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Men who don't have children may be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, a study finds. The study, released Monday in the journal Human Reproduction , followed 137,903 male married or previously married AARP members for an average of about 10 years. At the beginning of the study, the participants, whose average age was about 63, had no history of heart disease, and 92% had fathered at least one child. Half had three or more children. During the course of the study, 3,082 men died due to cardiovascular causes.
NEWS
February 7, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
A Boston researcher will receive a $1-million prize from the Prize4Life foundation's ALS Biomarker Challenge, an effort to develop new ways to monitor the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to make it easier to test potential drugs for the disease. The prize is believed to be the biggest-ever challenge award related to a medical condition, but Prize4Life estimates it could halve the cost of clinical trials for new ALS drugs. Dr. Seward Rutkove of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will receive the award formally in June.
NEWS
December 3, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
There are lots of ways to raise awareness about a disease -- and having Hollywood celebrities tell their stories always helps. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has gathered a number of notables, many of whom have a personal connection to the disease, for its first hourlong TV telethon on Saturday night. The Together for Care Telethon will feature, among others, actor Hector Elizondo, the foundation's honorary chairman, who has spoken openly lately about his own family's reluctance to seek help when his mother showed signs of Alzheimer's back in the mid-1960s.
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